If your child has a 504 Plan

Make sure the 504 gives enough support for your child's goals.

As you think about the transition to adult life, take a moment to think about the accommodations your child gets through their 504 plan.

Image of parent character Paula with the text 'How well are the accomoations working for my child? Is the 504 Plan enough to prepare my child for their goals after age 22? Will my child need special classes or support to prepare for getting a job or going to college? Appropriate behavior? Study skills? Managing daily living needs like taking a bus or using the back?'

If your child needs specialized instruction in addition to the accommodations they get from the 504 Plan, you might want to see if they qualify for an IEP.

This is an Individualized Education Program.

If your child does qualify for an IEP, they can get a plan and more services to help them with transition. You can read about this in the other sections in the menu on the left.

Click the box below to learn more:

A student who has a 504 plan needs adjustments to the learning environment and maybe some services so they can have equal access to all parts of the school day.

They do not meet the requirements for an IEP, which outlines very specific services and goals.

Image showing two boxes with 'vs.' inbetween them. The first box has the heading IEP with text below saying 'Describes specialized instruction or services. The student may work with a learning specialist inside or outside the regular class. The second box has the heading 504Plan with text below saying 'Describes accommodations to help the student in the classroom: usually small changes that help them follow the general curriculum.'

  • Both are for students with confirmed disabilities.

  • The 504 Plan gets its name from Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act law. This requires schools to allow students with disabilities equal access to education and extra-curricular activities.

  • Special education is governed by a different law, IDEA: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Click on this link to learn more: The difference between IEPs and 504 plans

Sources: Casey Family Programs, U.S. DOE, Understood

See the Special Education Guide to learn how to start the process to see if your child qualifies for an IEP.

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